Effective communication is communication that is clearly and successfully delivered, received and understood. Learning the skills of effective communication can help people to resolve differences while building trust and respect.
Effective communication is essential in every job and every organisation, and is particularly critical when delivering projects or business transformation. A badly delivered project can be perceived to be successful if there is effective communication. Unfortunately, and quite commonly, the reverse is also true. You might build an absolutely fantastic website for example, but if no one knows how to find it or what to use it for it has no value.
There are many moving parts in a project, and therefore many different recipients who need communicating to. They are likely to have distinct needs in terms of their communication – perhaps they need to know different things or are best communicated to via different channels and at different times.
There are some very simple rules relating to communication, which are often called the 7cs. If you employ the 7cs of communication you’ll be making a good start on effective communication.
Be clear with your message and keep it as simple as possible. Clarity demands the use of simple language and easy sentence structure in composing the message. When there is clarity in presenting ideas, it’s easy for the receiver/decoder to grasp the meaning being conveyed by the sender/encoder. Clarity makes comprehension easier.
Least words possible saves time for the sender and ensures the receiver can get to the point of the communication quickly. A concise message saves time of both the sender and the receiver. Conciseness, in a business message, can be achieved by avoiding wordy expressions and repetition.
Using brief and to the point sentences, including relevant material makes the message concise. Achieving conciseness does not mean to loose completeness of message. Conciseness saves time.
Ensure that all your facts and figures are accurate and correct. Employ proper use of spelling, grammar and use of language, accuracy in stating facts and figures, Correctness in message helps in building confidence. The explosion of texting and message means that our use of grammar has gone out of the window, and that we often employ shorthand or acronyms. Consider whether this is appropriate in your communication.
At the time of encoding, if the encoder has comprehensive knowledge about the decoder of message, it makes the communication an ease. The encoder should know the status, knowledge and educational background of the decoder.
The communication must employ all the facts required by the receiver.
By completeness means the message must bear all the necessary information to bring the response you desire. The sender should answer all the questions and with facts and figures. and when desirable, go for extra details; Completeness brings the desired response.
Consider the audience and their requirements. Ensure the method of communication is appropriate to the audience (e.g. verbal, email, text, presentation) as well as the content. In some cases communication needs to be done in multiple ways, or multiple times in order to be effective.
Consideration demands to put oneself in the place of receiver while composing a message. It refers to the use of You attitude, emphasize positive pleasant facts, visualizing reader’s problems, desires, emotions and his response. Consideration means understanding of human nature.
Be definite and specific, not vague, obscure in general leads to concreteness of the message. Facts and figures being presented in the message should be specific. Concreteness reinforces confidence.
Think about the receiver, their culture, viewpoint, behaviours and be respectful. In business, almost everything starts and ends in courtesy. Courtesy means not only thinking about receiver but also valuing his feelings. Much can be achieved by using polite words and gestures, being appreciative, thoughtful, tactful, and showing respect to the receiver. Courtesy builds goodwill; Courtesy strengthen relations.